Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I recently went to a seminar that included a presentation by a private detective. The man was a former state policeman. He has been involved in crime and people behaving badly for a long time. As he was demonstrating to the group about how he "catches" people, he commented that people always follow a routine, or have a pattern. He was expressing how easy it is, really, after all. People lying, cheating, commiting crimes or at least betrayal. He had this sad, resigned look about him - they'll get caught: everyone acts with routines. If you can follow someone to someplace once, they'll go again. Primarily, I thought this man was so sad and cynical. But then I thought about whether or not I blieved that everyone follows routines, behaves in patterns. No! Really? Are we all so predictable? Mindless in our day? Is routine good for our souls, or stifling? At first, I did not believe that my schedule had any routine at all, except for when I arrived and left work. But, as I thought about it, the patterns emerged (Think "The DaVinci Code" - if I knew how to upload the music, I'd do it). I awaken at the same time, take the dogs out, fill the bird feeders, take the towels off of the towel warmer, while I wait for the hot water in the shower, I look out the window to see if I can see deer in the yard or just to see what I can see, my shower even has a usual progression of tasks, even dressing, makeup and hair, and on and on. Almost each tiny step of my entire morning IS routine! Now, even though the rest of the day isn't quite as choreographed, still.... I don't know what I think about that.


  1. Hi Jennifer,
    I guess some of our routines facilitate the necessary steps in our day and are unavoidable and actually help us to get those tasks completed effectively, but it's the others that I question, the ones that become habits and the ones that we stick to rigidly when they may not be beneficial.

    Someone said that habits (I'm thinking routine) start like cobwebs then become chains.

    As I have got older I have been on the lookout for different ways of doing things. We seem to get stuck in the same patterns and think they are the BEST way of doing something.- even little things in the house where I suppose we follow our mothers' patterns.

    I change my daily routines if I feel in the mood, if I don't want to clean or do the washing I don't do it any more. There's always another day.

    I have started to say to myself, when for example the laundry hanging on the line is getting wet in the rain because I didn't get it in, "I have the rest of my life to do that" and its a good feeling.

    I end up saying it quite often...and I don't have any pressure or stress in my life now.
    Its a nice feeling.
    This week I haven't gone to do my office work - it can wait.

    But I am lucky to have no schedule or imperatives calling me. That would be a different story.

  2. I'm a slave to routine, that's why I often set rules and schedules, si I can then break them dramatically! We should try to do one little thing differently each day, to break the repetition, the monotony of routine. That's unless we feel stifled by it. Some folks feel safe in "Groundhog Day" mode. Did you see that film? It's deeper than just a romantic comedy. Ciao!

  3. Interesting Jennifer.

    What is more interesting to me however, is you.

    Nice blog.

    Renee xoxo

  4. Hi Jennifer: This is a very interesting post. I like your account of the detective. Although he does sound sad.

    I've often wished I COULD be more routinized. I have so many times made a decision that I was going to be more organized and follow X, Y, Z schedule....only to break it. I mean, over and over again. I've finally given up. No day is ever the same. But I do notice that I have routine thought patterns and assumptions, and those can really trip me up.

    As I let go of expectations for myself and just live one day at a time, I find it easier to stick to some basic and minimal routines, and they do make life a little easier.



Thanks for visiting. I love having you at my table with me.

Something About Sunsets

There is something about sunsets that always makes me melancholy.  Dylan Thomas whispers in my ears.  "Do not go gentle into that goo...